The Home Office yesterday announced plans for the regulation of CCTV as part of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012.
This is fantastic news. The regulation of CCTV and the protection of civil liberties were key to our manifesto and prominent in the coalition agreement.
Britain is home to as many as 4.2 million CCTV cameras – up to 20% of cameras globally – yet under Labour there was virtually no control over who has access to state surveillance. Our reforms mean we can control who has access to cameras, and how the footage is used.
Regulation will be crucial in creating a healthy balance between protecting civil freedoms and preventing crime. Today’s announcement means that, at long last, there will be legislation in place to protect the public from reckless or excessive use of CCTV by the police and other organisations.
A consultation on the CCTV regulations has been launched and will close on 21st March.
I’d encourage everyone who has an interest in this area to contribute to the consultation. Having as many views heard as possible will make it easier for the Government to get this important draft regulation code right.
This is Liberal Democrats delivering Liberal Democrat policy in Government.
* Julian Huppert is Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge.